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Welsh Secretary economy talks with business leaders

The Head of Toyota on Deeside to join business leaders to discuss economy Credit: PA

Business leaders from some of Wales' largest businesses - including the boss of Toyota on Deeside, which employs around 600 people - are meeting the Welsh Secretary today to discuss the state of the economy.

It's an opportunity for them to discuss what they're doing to help workers, boost business and drive up jobs in Wales.

Welsh Secretary cuts short Asia trip

Welsh Secretary David Jones is to cut short a major overseas visit in order to take part in Monday's Commons vote on press regulation. He's on day three of a ten day investment trip which was due to take in Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

But a spokeswoman has confirmed that he'll return to the UK this weekend after competing the Japan part of the trip. It's not clear if he'll abandon the journey after Monday's vote or return to Asia.

A free press is absolutely crucial to our society and I wholeheartedly support the Prime Minister on the measures he is taking to ensure we have a system of press regulation that will actually work.

So I will be completing all of my meetings with Hitachi in Tokyo, before returning back to the UK in time for this important vote.

– David Jones, Welsh Secretary

Welsh Secretary responds to critics over gay marriage comments

Following criticism of comments he made during last night's Face to Face programme, Welsh Secretary David Jones has issued this statement:

I was asked on the Face to Face programme why I voted against the same sex marriage proposals. I replied that I had done so on the basis that I took the view that marriage is an institution that has developed over the centuries so as to provide a safe and warm environment for the upbringing ofchildren.

I made the point of stressing that I was fully supportive of committed same sex relationships. I also strongly approve of civil partnerships.

I did not say in the interview that same sex partners should not adopt children and that is not my view.

I simply sought to point out that, since same sex partners could not biologically procreate children, the institution of marriage was one that, in my opinion, should be reserved to opposite sex partners.

Welsh Secretary criticised for gay marriage opposition

Welsh Secretary David Jones is facing criticism for remarks he made about gay marriage in last night's Face to Face programme. You can see the full programme here. Political Editor Adrian Masters asked Mr Jones why he recently voted against UK Government plans to legalise same-sex marriage.

I was one of two cabinet ministers who did vote against it and it was for various reasons. Certainly in constituency terms, I felt that overwhelmingly the constituents of Clwyd West were opposed to the change. But also I regard marriage as an institution that has developed over many centuries, essentially for the provision of a warm and safe environment for the upbringing of children, which is clearly something that two same-sex partners can’t do. Which is not to say that I'm in any sense opposed to stable and committed same-sex partnerships.

– David Jones MP, Secretary of State for Wales

Campaign group Stonewall Cymru says it's 'saddened' by the comments. Its director, Andrew White, said opinion polls show that 62% of people in Wales support the UK Government's proposals for same-sex marriage. He added:

We’re saddened that the Secretary of State for Wales should make such an offensive and inaccurate remark. There are many different types of family in Wales today, including many same sex couples raising children. It’s deeply undermining to families and children when they hear this sort of ill-informed comment. Fortunately, recent YouGov polling for Stonewall Cymru shows that the Secretary of State’s views are out of touch with the majority of people both in Wales and throughout Great Britain.’

– Andrew White. Director, Stonewall Cymru


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